SW Legal Educational Publishing

Window Screen Maker Not Liable for Not Producing Child Restraint Device
Description Small child pushed on screen of open window and fell out the window. Parents sued screen maker for product defect. Delaware high court upheld verdict for producer, finding no duty on the part of the maker to produce a screen any stronger than needed for ordinary purposes.
Topic Torts
Key Words Product Liability; Defect; Warning
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Eleven-month old Shayne was injured when he pushed through the screen on an open window and fell from the second story of his aunt's house. His parents then sued the window screen maker for not making a screen that could prevent such a fall and for not warning of the danger. Trial court held for screen maker; plaintiffs appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The screen's intended purposes were to keep bugs out while letting in air. Consequently, the maker owed no duty to persons who could be harmed because the window was left open, allowing a child to fall through because the screen was not strong enough to be a child restraint. There was no legal duty by the maker to produce a product other than the one it marketed. The danger of falling through a screen is so obvious that the maker need not have warned users of the danger.
Citation Brower v. Metal Industries, Inc., 719 A.2d 941 (Sup. Ct., Del., 1998)

Back to Torts Listings

©1997-2000  South-Western, a division of Cengage Learning, Inc. Cengage Learning is a trademark used herein under license.